A selection of prototype images

The latest issue of Model Rail goes on sale this week and readers will note my article on improving the new Bachmann 50ft LMS observation saloon. During my research for this - and the original review of the model a few months ago - I dug out a stack of photographs that I took of the real 45030, languishing in the South Yard of the National Railway Museum in York. I was working there at the time and the saloon had just appeared in the yard, having been in use as a static office at Leeman Road since withdrawal in 1993. Decked out in replica LMS livery, but with standard yellow ends, the interior had been upgraded by BR sometime in the 1970s (I'm guessing!), with some pretty foul orangey carpets that were in vogue at that time.

Anyway, the photos weren't good enough to be published in the mag, being taken on a very cheap and nasty 35mm pocket camera. They date from Spring 2003 and show the saloon in a bit of a state. A couple of homeless folk had been living in it, who had kicked in one of the doors and generally trashed the interior, leaving lots of empty whisky bottles and other debris. At the time, I did think how the vehicle would make a jolly nice holiday home, akin to a camping coach. With a kitchen/galley, toilet compartment and two spacious saloons, there was plenty of room. Couple it up to a Class 25 or similar, and away you go... what a way to see the country...?!
Guard's compartment with handbrake wheel and air brake valve on the wall.

Other side of Guard's compartment, with comfy, sprung bench seat and luggage rack

Side corridor linking the two outer saloons with the WC, galley and Guard's compartment

Modern BR-era features include ETS socket/jumpers, airbrake hoses, C1 classification and yellow ends.

The well appointed galley/kitchen was equipped with gas-powered cooker and appliances.

Other side of the galley. Note the BR-issue box of Jaffa Cakes....

The larger of the two saloons. Note the fold-up desks under each front window and air horn operating knobs.  A brake pressure dial is just out of view above the central end window. Electric heaters are a post-1960s addition, as is the orange carpet.

The same saloon looking towards the centre of the coach, with tall store cupboards and access to the side corridor on the right. With luggage racks and other smaller cabinets, there was certainly plenty of storage space.

One of the few remaining bits of furniture was this desk in the corner of the smaller saloon, with an old telex-type printing machine still in situ. Whisky bottles litter the floor and the twin wall lamps over the desk make it look quite homely!

My (very) rough sketch made at the time on a scrap of paper. The 'T's indicate from where I took each photograph, just like the little cameras we use on layout features in Model Rail!

The side with all the graffiti was actually in the better condition. The recessed door handle and folded access steps are seen here. Originally vacuum-operated, the steps had been modified to air-operation.

The steps on the other side... note the air tank behind.


  1. Shame to see this fine vehicle in this state. I hope your article provokes restoration

  2. where did you get the fliker free unit for your saloon?

    1. The lighting unit of from Mike Carrington. A full review and demo appeared in Model Rail issue 195. THey're available from Mike's Ebay shop:


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